Monday, January 24, 2011

Would You Be A Dear and NOT Send Your Sick Child to School?!

Oiy, the responsibilities of being a parent! What do children need? What DON'T they need? It's true that children need a lot. As a mom, I know that children of all ages need a lot of attention. Babies need almost constant feeding, holding, cuddling, and loving. As they get older, they need feeding, hugging, playing, talking, and LOTS of question-answering. My oldest is 9 so I can only share my experiences up to that age and 9 year olds have a lot of questions... and homework. My 5 little ones keep me busy and I am a full-time stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). I never intended to be a working mom. It made it even easier for me the fact that I grew up with a SAHM and a working dad who was supportive of my dedicated SAHM. No one places a monetary value on the work a SAHM does but I believe there is nothing more important than raising and training and nurturing the next generation. That's me - my choice.

Children are precious. Human life is sacred. Health is supreme, number one, top of the list... What parent wouldn't do EVERYTHING to save their child's life? Protect their child from life threatening dangers? Illness??? So why 'o why do parents drive their children around unrestrained and not buckled into safety seats? Why do they leave their children unattended in cars while they drop off a child or go grocery shopping?!!! And the biggie that really has me on a rant is WHY DO THEY SEND THEIR SICK CHILDREN TO SCHOOL??!!!

My 3 year old daughter, H., has been sick more days than well in the past month. I have had to keep her home 4 times over periods of 3-6 days to get well enough to return to her pre-school only to be struck down again with the flu or some other virus. I see feverish, coughing, spluttering, ill kids being dropped off every day at H.'s pre-school and it drives me insane. I spoke with the teachers and they say "what can we do?" SAY WHAT???? "The parents need to go to work, they can't afford to stay home everyday..." EXCUSE ME?!!!! The main teacher complained that she has called parents repeatedly to collect a sick and feverish child from pre-school and the parents refuse. WHAT? Am I crazy or is that unacceptable? A few mothers have actually said to me, "Not everyone has the luxury of not working and staying home whenever their kid is sick...". Is that some kind of insult? I promise you, if I become a working-mom and my child is sick, my child takes priority - not my job. You couldn't put a price on that.

The main reason that being a SAHM is not a "popular choice" is because people need the money. For some, it's not possible to do without the 2nd salary. I'll confide that we live according to our means. We don't suffer for anything. True, I don't buy myself lots of new clothes or shoes or jewelery, fancy vacations, etc.. It's not important to me. That's a choice my husband and I made. Having said all that, I do not have double standards. A child is a mini-adult. Would an adult subject themselves to a day at work if they were feeling ill? When a child is sick, they need rest and care not to mention the dangers of spreading the illness to other children... and so we arrive at the reason why I have kept my 3 year old daughter home from pre-school for more than a week. I was finally able to get her her first dose of Flu-mist and plan to get the 2nd dose before I'll even consider sending her back into the germ-fest that is her pre-school.

It's hard for some to understand or accept that motherhood is fulfilling in itself and easy to think a mother who doesn't have a career is bored or boring or useless to society. I think that being with my baby and children is both enjoyable and rewarding in a way that even the most prestigious career could never be. The fact is NO ONE can or will care for my kids as I do. Watch out for this mama because I will do EVERYTHING to protect my children. Don't get in my way.

2 comments:

  1. We all make choices for different reasons. I am in awe that people *can * be SAHMs. I would make a crappy one. I don't believe, however, that it makes me any less committed to my children or that they are suffering in any way. I think that we make things work and the work I do adds to my ability to be a good mom and I think my kids learn from my working too. They could all be good choices if its what works.

    Most schools have sick policies. My foster daughter's daycare does not allow children w/ fevers, for 24 hrs after 2 loose BMs, etc. I follow the rules. I am fortunate that I only work PT these days so I have been able to juggle my work around having a very often sick toddler. I feel for working moms though. I know that dread of thinking can I or can't I go to work tomorrow. I believe that 99% of mothers, and fathers, put their children ahead of their careers. However, the commitments of jobs, clients, patients, etc. are very real. The stress is very, very real. Worrying about losing an income or driving a career into the ground is no small worry. For women in that position, I could imagine situations where a child does not meet criteria for required school absence and sending them to school. Far worse to not be able to afford food, rent or the electric bill. Those moms are doing everything for their children too. Sending an under the weather child to school doesn't feel good to most moms but if it means that the family will eat or they will continue to have health care, what should the mom do? I am glad not to have to be in that position. I imagine it sucks big time.

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  2. We all make choices that are (hopefully) best for our families and ourselves AND (hopefully) do our best by our children. I know that there are moms who cannot afford to stay home for financial reasons and personality reasons.... I respect the choices people make. My stink is with people who don't take responsibility for their kids - that goes for dads too.

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